Step Four - The Finished Antenna
In these views you can see the finished installed antenna showing the 20mm center top support for the nylon strings that support the ends to keep them level. The supporting section of blue PVC pipe is 63mm and is about one meter long and fits over a 2" diameter thin wall steel tube that is 6 meters long. The installed actual height of the antenna is 21 feet above the ground at the copper tube level.
Now comes the fun part! Using this new dipole. Since it is mounted on a round steel tube, it is easy to manually rotate it. So I first turned it broadside to Europe and immediately worked some stations in PSK31 mode in France, Italy, Hungary, Argentina, Brazil, and the Czech Republic. Last evening it was raining here but I had the rig on anyway and anxious to make more QSO's with this new dipole! So I went out in the rain and turned it towards the USA. I made several QSO's and then it started pouring very hard here....a genuine downpour! Our home has a metal roof and I could barely talk to my wife it was raining so hard....and the roof is insulated! Just then I had another response to my CQ call from a station in New Jersey and he was using a vertical antenna. Our DirecTV was on and just lost the satellite signal which has only happened before during very strong storms. I was almost shocked to see 100% totally perfect copy on my screen when it was pouring rain like this, especially when he was using a vertical antenna. I had thought the heavy rain and dense clouds would have seriously attenuated my signals but we got through like we had clear skies! So thus far, I am extremely pleased and happy that I constructed this new dipole with copper tubes. I wonder now if even larger diameter copper tubes would be even better? However, for years in Paraguay I used a huge Sommer XP-807 Beam Yagi and honestly this simple copper tube dipole seems to perform as good or better! Comments appreciated. For my email, look up CD5846 on QRZ.COM.
An unrelated photo thrown in just for fun! I took this last year high in the Atacama Desert of Chile at an altitude of about 15,000 feet near the "Lago Chungara" (Lake Chungara) and near the border with Bolivia.